This week's idea came from an unlikely collision of worlds


Eye Exam


I scheduled an eye exam this week. As I was sitting in the chair waiting for the drops to dilate my pupils, I noticed something strange. The music that the doctor had on was some kind of plucky, acoustic solo guitar music. It sounded exactly like the music of Dwarf Fortress by Tarn Adams. So this week's game is a game-efied  adaptation of that experience.

Click here to play Eye Exam



The Good

I've been thinking about Papers, Please a lot lately. Not only because they made a short film about it, but also because I've been talking to a few people about what I really admire about that game is how it's so unlike many other games. It's a specific experience that Lucas Pope made about an unusual thing he observed about life, rather than his version of some existing game. I admire that a lot and a philosophy of 'play games less, experience life more' is kind of my modus operandi (at least when a new Dragon Quest game isn't occupying my time-More about that below).

So I was really happy that not only did I make a game about taking an eye exam, but I also think it didn't turn out half bad. It's not realistic in the sense of that isn't how eye exams actually work (the doctor just asks you to read the smallest like you can, not start from the top), but I ended up with something kind of fun. I honestly thought this week was gonna be another crash and burn like last week. But I liked it. I'd like to maybe do more with this, maybe by making a full-up eye exam simulator with some of the rejected ideas I thought of.

The music of the game is the soundtrack of Dwarf Fortress performed by Tarn Adams, which I was hesitant to actually put in the game for possibly legal ramifications, but I couldn't find anything that approximated it (I don't know what that genre is called), and it's an inside joke. I thought it would have been hilarious if my eye doctor really had been playing dwarf fortress music while giving exams. But if Tarn Adams sees this, please don't sue me. I'm not making a single cent from this.

The Bad

Dragon Quest VIII happened to me this week which is awesome in once way, because that game is so friggin' AMAZING, but bad in that I almost completely forgot to make a game this week because I was too busy preparing to fight Rhapthorne (I beat him by the way - with a single character at 8 HP remaining). This meant this week I didn't get much in the game, which is why the end result is so sparse. Putting a timer and a high score were things I considered but didn't do because I was busy playing Dragon Quest.

I also thought it would be cool to using a screen blurring effect like really happens in an eye exam. Like maybe you'd have to do the exam with no correction, then do the 'which is better 1 or 2) thing that eye doctors do, then run the exam again with corrected vision. But alas, the blur effect is a Unity Pro exclusive feature and I don't know how to write shaders.

The Lesson

Pull more experiences from life and you can end up with interesting game mechanics.